We just returned from our third trip to Costa Rica. We decided to check out a different area so we headed to the Guanacaste region up near the Nicaraguan border. Ecoplaya's grounds are beautiful. The rooms are basic and clean and we liked having a small kitchenette. They reccommend having a car and we totally agree. You need it in this area or you're basically stranded. And you'll need a car to get to the two best beaches in the area (Playa Jobo & Playa Rajada). They offered some day excursions and we did take the trip to Nicaragua. We highly reccommend this and Umberto, who helps with all trips, was wonderful. He's very knowledgeable about not only the region we were in but, Costa Rica in general. We did have something happen at Ecoplaya that was a bit troubling.
We booked this trip through RCI and although Ecoplaya offered an all inclusive package we decided not to go with it. On our first night we had dinner in their restaurant and at the end asked for our bill. My husband asked the waiter if we could pay now or do we just charge it all to our room. The waiter told us it was our preference. He gave us the bill but without a total or a place to sign. My husband gave the check back and politely asked our server to total the bill for us. The waiter returned and said that our bill was $77. We were aware that 13% tax and 10% tip were added, but the bill still seemed extremely high. Also, the prices were on the menu in colones. When we questioned the total the waiter got very agitated and stated that our bottle of water cost $4. I got up and picked up a menu to show him the prices. Another waiter came over with a calculator and figured out that the total was $52. The bill was off by $25. By the way, the price was also shown in colones on the bill and that was also off by the same amount. Our waiter was not very apologetic, in fact he seemed angry about the whole situation. We tried to make light of it saying that mistakes happen and we left him an extra tip on top of the 10%. The next morning when my husband walked into the restaurant to purchase a bottle of water, he received dirty looks and snickers from the very same waitstaff. It made us extremely uncomfortable and we did not want to return there to dine.
We met another American couple who also had an issue with one of their checks. They spent the day by the pool and when they got their bill 2 items were added to it that they did not order or receive. When they pointed it out to the waiter, he claimed that they did order those items the day before. They did not and made them take it off their check.
We asked the front desk if there were any other restaurants in the area and they said no, Ecoplaya's was the only one. This is not true! Blue Dream Hotel (and kiteboarding school) has a small bar & restaurant. They offer pizzas and pastas that are good and reasonably priced. We also discovered a wonderful place called Restaurant Copal (near Copal Beach) run by an Italian couple. The food here was outstanding! Fresh fish grilled or fried whole or filleted. Pasta, cheese and wine all imported from Italy. A great selection of meat, chicken, fish and pasta dishes, as well as very tasty appetizers all very lovingly prepared. And the service was delightful. We would definitely recommend this restaurant over Ecoplaya's.
We decided to check out early (3 days early) from Ecoplaya and drive down to Playa Hermosa and Coco beach area. The only bill we had upon check out was for 1/2 hour of internet use. It's funny, I tried to pay in cash ($2.50) for it the day I used it, but the front didn't have any change and told me they'd just add it to our bill. They did add it, plus another $1.50. I didn't even argue with them about it. I was just happy to be leaving.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beach Front Resort ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ecoplaya Beach Hotel La Cruz
- Ecoplaya Beach Resort Costa Rica/La Cruz, Guanacaste